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Another forum that I used to be active on had a section that was very popular. I’m not sure how difficult it would be to implement/moderate, but it was popular, and useful.

The website was called bmxmuseum, and that’s what it was. A forum, AND a virtual museum of bmx.

One of the forum subsections was called “the museum”.

It worked like this;

Each brand has its own forum. However, it wasn’t really a “discussion” forum. You simply started a topic about a bike. You’d list specs, year, whatever info you had, including detailed pictures. And that was it. The only comments allowed were comments adding info about a given model. Any other comments were deleted.
You didn’t discuss a bike in the museum, you just added what you knew about it, or posted pictures of it, and moved on.

The title of each thread was only allowed to contain the make/model and year, if known.

Each thread was a single entry with info on a single make/model. I believe moderators combined threads regarding the same bike.

This section became a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge.

I’m not sure how it would work here. There are far more watch brands/models throughout history then there were bmx brands. However, I think it could be an invaluable resource.




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Born in '66 and living in the desert, I grew up with BMX starting with Ashtabula goosenecks, forks & cranks. I love that forum.
 

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So to make it clear, there'd be a Museum (or whatever name picked) forum that would essentially be a Wiki-style database of watches, with each brand having its own area to post detailed info about a particular model -- history, model number, movement, variations, etc. As you've noted, it could be a valuable resource that can't be found in one place elsewhere. Organization may be tricky given the number of brands and the number of models within a brand. Setting up the brands may be a headache for the site admins, but once set up could easily be searched for info on a specific watch. Feasible or not, a really cool idea...
 
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I did this with Vintage Hamilton over at VWF. I think I’ve been at this almost daily for nine years now and it’s still not complete even with enthusiastic help from some of the most ardent Hamilton collectors. If you want to view the project, google Hamilton Resource Center or Hamilton Master Photo Thread.

Keep in mind, this is just one brand with a long history and only goes to about 1977. Bulova collectors have a site with a fairly comprehensive vintage database. I think someone is working on an Elgin searchable database as well. I think I can safely say that cataloging each established brand is a massive, years long undertaking even with the advantages of catalogs and production data. Guys who collect Gruen (I think) are SOL for factory data due to a fire that destroyed the factory records.

The Photobucket fiasco last year did a lot of damage to my project that I still haven’t recovered from. It took me months just to repatriate my own photos from Photobucket since viewing each image takes about five minutes of ads just to view my own photo (if I’m allowed to view my own photos at all).
 

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Interesting idea Rob. But how would you verify the information people are posting/adding? They say even some of the info on Wiki is incorrect.
And would you have to read all of the comments in order to piece together the statistics about the item?
 

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So to make it clear, there'd be a Museum (or whatever name picked) forum that would essentially be a Wiki-style database of watches, with each brand having its own area to post detailed info about a particular model -- history, model number, movement, variations, etc. As you've noted, it could be a valuable resource that can't be found in one place elsewhere. Organization may be tricky given the number of brands and the number of models within a brand. Setting up the brands may be a headache for the site admins, but once set up could easily be searched for info on a specific watch. Feasible or not, a really cool idea...
Good idea, but probably easier to do it with a wiki--right tool for the right job. A forum would not be the right software to manage the size of the database as it grows.
 

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I get what you mean Rob,

I am the Poobah on a large fly fishing forum and we have tried the same concept for fly rods and fly reels. It has built into a huge resource for images of rods & reels but keeping discussion down is problematic. People don't read the guidelines.............
 
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